Regularly incorporating walking or running into your regimen provides a plethora of health benefits. For those interested in reaching or maintaining a healthy body fat percentage, walking and running burns a relatively high number of calories in a short amount of time.
When you're walking or running, your body breaks down the fat you have stored into useable fuel for your working tissues. This helps you lose weight, because whenever you burn more calories than you consume over a period of time, the body fat you have stored decreased. So by regularly walking or running, the more opportunity you'll have to create that calories deficit and lose fat.
A mile is a common distance for regular walkers and runners, because you can easily fit a workout in before work, during your lunch hour, or after work before the sun goes down. Depending on your pace, walking a mile will take you about 15 to 20 minutes. Running a mile will likely take you anywhere between 8 and 12 minutes.
What Impacts the Number of Calories You'll Burn
Several factors influence the number of calories you'll burn in a 1-mile workout. Your pace is one such factor. Running requires a greater workload from your muscles than walking, so you'll burn more calories. If you run 7 miles per hour, you'll burn more calories than if you run 5 miles per hour, and if you walk 4.5 miles per hour, you'll burn more calories than if you walk 2.5 miles per hour. Also, whether you're walking or running on an incline would influence the intensity of your workout and cause you to burn more calories. Your body weight also impacts the number of calories you'll knock off in a 1-mile walk or jog. The amount of load your body is carrying will influence how hard it has to work.
Calculating the Number of Calories You Burn in a Mile
The only way to truly calculate how many calories you burn during a 1-mile walk or run is to participate in a cardiovascular test in a scientific laboratory. However, there are mathematical equations that you can use to get a relatively accurate estimate.
If you're a brisk walker, use the following equation to figure out calories burned per mile:
If you're a runner, use this equation to estimate the number of calories burned per mile:
You'll notice that these equations do not take into account the speed of your walk or run. The calculations apply to a walking pace of about 3.2 miles per hour (18:36 min mile) and a running pace of 6 miles per hour (10:00 min mile).
Using the equations, you can see how running is much more efficient for burning calories and losing body fat. If a 200 pound individual walked a mile, using the walking equation we can estimate that she would burn 114 calories. If that same individual ran a mile, using the running equation, we estimate that she burns 144 calories.
How to Burn More Calories Walking or Running
There are ways that you can adjust your walking or running workouts if you're interested in burning even more calories. First, you can pick up your speed. If you typically walk or jog at a leisurely pace, try kicking it up a notch. If you feel like you can't keep up a faster pace for the entire mile, try alternating between your typical pace and faster pace every minute.
You can also try walking or running on a terrain that is set at an incline. Try to find a hill nearby. If you work out on a treadmill, you have the capability to easily adjust the incline of your machine.
Lastly, you can increase the number of calories burned by walking or running for a distance greater than 1 mile. The longer the duration of your workout session, the more calories you'll burn.